As has become Mister custom, I’ve made a list of my cultural highlights of 2016. There’s an art show, a few LPs, a couple of good reads and a handful of gems for the dance floor.
Continue reading “Looking Back on 2016: Eamon Harkin”
I’m a huge fan of Simon Reynolds‘ writing on music and popular culture. Rip It Up and Start Again and Energy Flash are definitive accounts of the emergence and development of the post punk and rave scenes. Each book does a superb job of highlighting the socioeconomic backdrop for these exciting new musical forms in turn helping the reader understand and appreciate the music for what it was really all about. So it was with a dash of despondency that I came to the end of his most recent book Retromania. The disappointment didn’t come from the quality of the writing, which was as brilliant as always, nor the quality of the argument, which was considered and on point, but rather the conclusion which the book leaves you with. That message in a nut shell is that modern music has run its course, and that in the last 15-20 years, with the arguable exception of dubstep, we’ve done little but recycle old music forms in an endless youtube– and reissue-fueled stranglehold of the past.
The year has ended, and my existence as a DJ requires me to supply my Top Ten list. This is it in no particular order.
The Blues – I took a trip through the south this year. In Mississippi, I stopped in Clarksdale (where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil, an occasion now marked by a sad, easy-to-miss sculpture and a Church’s Chicken), and I joined the generation of middle-aged white men before me in getting into the blues.
Lucky for me, that generation has started to sell their records, and I came upon a store where someone had just dumped their entire collection, allowing me to grow my fairly paltry stock of blues records back at home into something more substantial. I’ve particularly fallen in love with Son House, whose “Grinnin’ In Your Face” I posted on the blog in October.
Gospel and Diva House – The first parties that I ever went to in New York were Body and Soul and Shelter. I also grew up in church mesmerized by a gospel singer named Eunice Mayfield. That means, of course, that I am into gospel and diva house, which I have been more than pleased to see in resurgence over the past year, starting with Omar S’s set with us back in January. It was pretty much all he played.
New Radiohead… Of course I’ve already ordered the ten-inch box set.